Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Technology Immersion Project for Students & Teachers

I was reading Want a successful laptop initiative? Better choose Mac laptops! from Wes Fryer's Moving at the Speed of Creativity blog. Now, first let me say that I am definitely an Apple Macintosh advocate. I have my own personal Macbook Pro and have used Macs for many years and enjoy the experience very much. I have a 1TB Time Capsule to back-up my Macbook Pro and both mine and my wife's school Macbook laptops as well as giving me 802.11n Wi-fi base station capability which is extremely fast..

Our school District, Hereford Independent School District, in Hereford, Texas gave all teachers new Apple Macbook laptops this summer. Obviously, I am pretty pleased with this decision. We have a phenomenal IT department, and IT Director, who are progressive, forward thinking and willing to try new things and new initiatives such as our "1 to 1 for Teachers" inititiative.

We do have access to the iLife suite and I am really looking forward to seeing more from the Apple Professional Development for Education in the future.

So, it was with pleasure that I read Wes' recent post about Technology Immersion for Schools and Teachers. Well, we are now immersing our teachers and I am hopeful that within the next couple of years, our high school and our school district as well will become totally immersed in technology and we will see a true "1 to 1 laptop initiative" for all students.

We do have some students this year who qualified based upon their family's status as migrant workers, to receive an Apple Macbook for each family. What a fantastic program, I hope that programs like this continue. I do have a few of those students in my classes this year. Actually in some classes I might even have 3 or more students with laptops. So, I have been actually encouraging my students to bring their laptops to class to work on The HSTE Project that my students are participating in.

I do have permission to use these student laptops in my classroom from our Superintendent, IT Director and our CT&E Director and High School Prinicipal. I have had all of my students sign our Acceptable Use of Computers and Networks Policy as well as a signed permission form signed by all of my student's parents. So, I think that I have all of the bases covered and the first two weeks of our HSTE Project has been fun for me and I think fun for my students as well.

I did read with interest about "Floydada High School was named an “Apple Distinguished School”. Floydada being not all that far from Hereford, a contingent from our school district, teachers, administrators and IT folks went to Flodada last spring and everything that I heard was positive about their school's experience with their 1 to 1 laptop iniative for their school.

I agree with Wes when he states:

The need for and positive impact of good, strong, visionary leadership in our schools is evident everywhere, and it is certainly clear to see in a success story like Floydada ISD.

I am fortunate to work in a school district that has this type of strong, visionary leadership.

Great article, great topic and great opportunites for teachers as well as students. That is my take on this blog post.

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Wednesday, August 27, 2008


I participated in a planning session on Wednesday, August 27, 2008 about StoryChasers with Wes Fryer from Moving at the Speed of Creativity. StoryChasers was founded by Wes and Kevin Honeycutt

This has been an effort spearheaded by Wes and Kevin that is very interesting and has quite a bit of potential to work with my students and our HSTE Project this year by affording us a place to publish our digital stories and interviews with Health Care workers in somewhere other than our HSTE Project Wikispace page.

The idea behind StoryChasers is to empower students by allowing them a platform to share their digital stories with other students, teachers, and others who are interested in creating digital stories and becoming digital journalists. Things like interviews, student news broadcasts, and historical projects or almost anything that you can think of.

I will post a link to the show notes and a link to the UStreamTV feed once Wes publishes it on his site.

StoryChasters Brainstorm Session #4

Until next time...
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Saturday, August 16, 2008

Doing it first, making trouble and inspiring some change: Ewan Mcintosh

Ewan Mcintosh's recent post Doing it first, making trouble and inspiring some change is classic Ewan. One of the main reasons why I was so pleased to have the opportunity to meet him and make his acquaintance this summer in San Antonio, Texas at NECC 2008. Rarely, do I read something that Ewan has written that I disagree with and learn something meaningful from, the same holds true with this recent post by him.

Ewan will be starting a new job with channel 4 , 4ip, as the Digital Commissioner for Scotland and Northern Ireland.

It's time to reinvent the mainstream.

It's not television, it's not broadcasting. It's about harnessing the networks that are out there, virtual or real-world, and creating new models of interaction for an audience that, increasingly, is online rather than on the box."

Do it first
Channel 4 has become synonymous with pushing limits, and with our freedom we should keep doing just that.

Make trouble
While we won't make trouble for the sake of it, a season with no trouble is one with too little creative risk.

Inspire change
Channel 4 wants to challenge the views of the world and open minds.

Education continues to be a fertile area for new ideas and exploitations of technology, and learning and interacting with others on projects is still very much my passion. I'll continue to scour the landscape for ideas and will continue to be a place where I share those finds and my views on learning. But now, folks, it's going to be very much outside the echo chamber. You have been warned...
Being "a fertile area for new ideas and exploitations of technology" is, in my opinion, what is so exciting and challenging about education and how we as educators approach technology and implement it in our classrooms.

Make trouble
While we won't make trouble for the sake of it, a season with no trouble is one with too little creative risk.
I absolutely love this quote! If you are not willing to push the boundaries of what is the acceptable or the norm you will never be making trouble. You have to get into a little bit of trouble by taking that creative riskevery once in a while to challenge those who say "...but we have always done it this way."

Wrap your head around some new ideas, think outside of the box, push the edge of the envelope. Only then will you know what you are capable of accomplishing.

With innovators and mentors like Ewan Mcintosh out there giving us new ideas, who knows what is possible. And more to the point, what is possible for our students if we dare to make trouble.

I don't know what he will be doing so all I can say is Good luck Ewan, I will be looking forward to what you will be working on.
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Sunday, August 3, 2008

Bell-Bounded Learning

Bell-Bounded Learning - Learning which takes place within the limits of a class period or a school day. Learning stops when students leave the confines of the classroom and they are no longer in an educational enviornment.
The definition of Bell-Bounded Learning above is one that I made up. Why? Because although I have diligently searched, I could find no other definition.

I first heard the term Bell-Bounded Learning at Edubloggercon "Live in San Antonio" at NECC 2008. I was attending a session called:
If the Leaders Don't Get It, It's Not Going To Happen - How can we best help school principals and superintendents move schools into the 21st century? What are their special needs and concerns? What are ways we should not approach training for these folks?
The session was large so we broke into some smaller groups to better facilitate discussion. Wes Fryer and Stephanie Sandifer were in my group and the term came up. I don't know who first said it but Wes talked about it and we all tried to get our heads around the concept. Later at the k12 Online Conference session facilitated by Wes, Sheryl Nussbaum-Beach, Darren Kuropatwa live via UstreamTV from Canada, and others, Wes mentioned the term again and also talked about Unbounded Learning. You can see it in this UstreamTV feed of that session.

Obviously, Unbounded Learning is what we should strive for as teachers and we should not be Bell-Bounded Teachers.

I did find some interesting resources online on Unbounded learning that I will share:

Bounded and Unbounded Knowledge: Teaching and Learning in a Web 2 World. This article was written by Judy Nagy, Director DMO Program, Deakin Business School and Chris Bigum, Faculty of Education, Deakin Business School, Melbourne Australia.

Unbounded Learning is an international company. Their stated mission is to connect the virtual community between knowledge providers and seekers who are constantly on-the-go. We continue to architect and develop state-of-the-art technology that makes available knowledge and information on demand and by intelligent push to the users of average mobile devices.

, 2008 "Lively and Learning"

There are some more resources about Unbounded Learning out there and I will let those who choose to comment to the post add to this discussion.

I guess the key for us as educators is this. Are we going to break free from the traditional methods of teaching that we were taught by as 20th century learners, or are we going to accept the 21st century challenge to take a critical look at how we are teaching our students? Will we recognize that along with our students, we are learners as well learning right along with our students these new Web 2.0 tolls and technologies in able to bring them into the classroom?

I think that this year I will choose the latter. I am initiating a new project-based learning concept in my classroom called the HSTE Project. I have no idea what the final outcome will be at the end of the school year next June, but it is something that I want to try so as not to be a bell-bounded teacher, confined to a bell-bounded classroom with bell-bounded students!

Friday, August 1, 2008

I think I found a new Web Browser - Flock

Yesterday I came across a new web browser called Flock that was advertised as a browser for bloggers and those who use social networking sites. Well after a day and a half I think I indeed found a new web browser.

To make a long story short, I was trying without any success to embed a Ustream video that I had made for 101 Web 2.0 Tutorials, a new blog that I am launching. After trying many different things in Firefox and Safari, I opened up Flock and in less than a minute I figured out how to just drag the Ustream video into the built-in Blog Editor and it was finished.

One of the Flock tutorials I found on YouTube specifically addresses blogging.

Well I am impressed. I don't know all of the ins and outs of Flock yet, but I am going to enjoy learning more about it as time marches on.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Edublogging: My Favorites

Eduglog: An edublog is a blog written by someone with a stake in education. Examples might include blogs written by or for teachers, blogs maintained for the purpose of classroom instruction, or blogs written about educational policy. The collection of these blogs is called the edublogosphere by some, in keeping with the larger blogosphere, although that label is not necessarily universally agreed upon. Others refer to the community or collection of blogs and bloggers as the edusphere.

This is a post that I have been thinking about writing for some time now. It is really just an entry in which I want to chronicle some of my favorites in the Educational blogosphere. While I do not  now consider myself a newcomer to blogging anymore, there is still much that I want to learn in order for me to contribute more to the collective that is educational blogging.

I would like to put together a collection of Essential Edubloggers at some point to list who I read on an ongoing basis and who I think anyone would profit by reading their blogs. I think the best way to do this is to create a Wikipage to list who I read. Dr. Scott MclLeod's blog Dangerously Irrelevant  posted "Top 50 P-12 Edublogs - June 2008" and a subsequent post "Top 50? Edublogs? - Follow-up". While I believe that Scott has done an admirable job of rating many of the edubloggers into such a definitive list, my own list of Essential Bloggers will not attempt to rate, rather to list those that I have found useful on my journey.

Note:After writing this blog post I realized that everyone whom I have listed I got the opportunity to meet and get to know, very well in most cases at NECC 2008 in San Antonio, TX (Please read my earlier posts about NECC and Thoughts about NECC 2008). I was just amazed at "The Community of Edubloggers" that I got to meet and learn from, which is one of the many reasons I enjoy edublogging as much as I do.

I would be remiss if I didn't give a lot of credit to Vicki Davis and her Cool Cat Teacher Blog from whom I have learned much and have "borrowed" many ideas from. Her post, "Ten habits of bloggers that win!"is a must read, in my opinion. Vicki has a tremendous amount of helpful ideas on her blog, as well as many great tutorials she has contributed on the Atomic Learning website.  (If you don't have an account at Atomic Learning I would highly recommend that you do).  Vicki is also one of the nicest ladies I had the pleasure to meet at NECC 2008.

Darren Draper who blogs at Drape's Takes is really a nice guy I had the opportunity to meet at NECC 2008. Darren has worked on a series of articles on ethics and etiquette with respect to blogging and internet use, a very good series that everyone should read.

Wes Fryer and his blog Moving at the Speed of Creativity is one of the first blogs I check every days for updates.  Wes is probably one of the most prolific bloggers and always has interesting things to read about educational issues. Wes asked me to record the Ustream Feed of a session he presented at NECC 2008 about the K12 Online Conference 2008, The Magic of Digital: Collaborative Interaction in Teacher Professional Development.

Classrom 2.0 Ning reaches 10,00 members! July 24, 2008, Congratulations!
Steve Hargadonalways has some very interesting things to say on his blog. Steve created the Classroom 2.0 Ning which has recently added it's 10,000th member, Edublogger World and countless other great Ning sites. He also hosted Edubloggercon which I attended at NECC 2008 in San Antonio. Steve has created, in my opinion, some of the best Web 2.0 resources for educators.

Chris Lehmann who blogs at Practical Theoryis absolutely amazing. I recently wrote a blog post about Chris' post Effective School Technology Leadership. I ran across a podcast that Chris recorded at the Apple Learning Interchange about School 2.0 which is excellent.

Ewan Mcintosh from Edinburgh, Scotland who blogs at is probably the most eloquent bloggers out there. Ewan also has the best accent of all of the bloggers I have met. I also like that Ewan was suitably impressed with my one-month old grandson at the Bloggers' Cafe at NECC 2008 one afternoon!

Stephanie Sandifer who blogs at The Change Agency always has some interesting topics as well as a wonderful insight into educational issues. I met Stephanie at Edubloggercon 2008and immediately liked her. Stephanie presented "Marzano & Web 2.0" at NECC 2008 to an overflow crowd. She surprised me when she asked me share an example of my students work that I submitted to the Web 2.0 that Workscontest that won in the Cooperative Learning category!

While I realize that this list is not definitive, it is a compilation of who I enjoy reading the most. I will add to this list as this is a "work-in-progress" blog post. Please note that I chose to alphabetize these edubloggers rather than assign a numerical rank. Please, if I have not added your blog to this list please forgive me, but as I said in the introduction, this is meant to be a list of edubloggers that I read the most.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Effective School Technology Leadership

I read Chris Lehmann's blog post "A Whole New School". Chris, who blogs at Practical Theory: A View from the Classroom and is the principal of The Science Leadership Academy in Philadelphia, PA.  Chris asks this question. What is Good Technology Education Leadership? Here is his answer.
The simple answer is that good technology educational leadership is no different than good educational leadership; that the choices we make with technology education should be deliberate, thoughtful and in line with the overall educational goals of our organization.
I hope that we are seeing better leadership and our schools with respect to technology, at least I am seeing this at my high school and school district which has a very strong commitment to integration of technology for teachers and students as well.  This is evident by our school district issuing Macbook laptops to each teacher this year and our technology department spending a lot of time this summer teaching the teachers how to use them.

So how do we expose and integrate technology in our classrooms and involve students?
First, we have to recognize that to use these tools only for two periods a week is not transformative, and it perpetuates the problem of access.
I do believe that we as teachers who teach subjects other than Computer Technology Classes we must look for innovative ways to integrate technology and Web 2.0 tools in our classrooms to engage our students more in what we are trying to teach them.

Even though most of us are not 1 to 1 schools where every student has a laptop issued to them, I do believe that as teachers, we should seek out opportunities to allow our students the access to computers and computer labs and show them how to use these emerging technologies wherever possible.

When I see computers and computer labs vacant for many hours of the school day I begin to wonder why are we not using our resources better.  I think a big part of the answer should be to get teachers more excited about their own knowledge and abilities and seek out professional development opportunities to learn how to use these technologies in their classrooms.

In addressing the tools and technologies available to us as educators, he gives us a guideline to use in using these tools.
Secondly, these tools allow all of us — students and teachers — to do five things better than we’ve ever been able to do them in our classes before: Research, Collaborate, Create, Present and Network.
In summary he asks what is the role of teachers with all of these Web 2.0 tools available to us.
Finally, what is the role of the teacher with all these new tools? It is my belief that while our role has shifted, teachers have never been more important. We are no longer the only source of information in our classrooms as kids can access information more quickly and more powerfully than ever before, but as the world becomes more fast-paced, more bewildering, more and more of a Tower of Babel, we have one role left to us, and I believe that it has always been our most important role. More than the skills we still teach, more than the content we still teach….

We teach wisdom.
I really enjoyed reading this post.  I agree with much of what Chris says in this post and enjoy reading what he has written.  I had the opportunity to meet Chris at NECC 2008 in San Antonio, TX this summer and listen to him present at the Bloggers' Cafe.  As I told him at NECC he would be a fun principal to work for because he would challenge teachers to expand their own horizons and use of technologies in their classrooms.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

So much to teach, where to start first?

Breaking News: July 28, 2008. I presented the HSTE Project to both our CT&E Director and High School Principal today and secured their approval to proceed with the project for this upcoming school year!

After reflecting on NECC 2008, Edubloggercon and NECC Unplugged and all of the great Web 2.0 ideas I got there, I am starting to plan for the fall semester for all of my classes and trying to figure out just where to start.


I already have a final project in mind called the HSTE Project along with a pretty good Project Description, a Ning site for everyone in the project to communicate and I have a rough idea what our final "project" will be. Now the question is how to get there?

I ran across a great opening assignment by way of Vicki Davis' CoolCatTeacher Blog, called Wiki Wiki Teaching for starters. This "First Assignment" for all of my classes will be to accomplish a few small goals for starters:

1. Teach students how to collaborate in groups
2. Expose the students to editing a Wiki on our Wikispaces page
3. Expose my students to  Web 2.0 terminology and technology
4. Let the students create their first product, or "project"
5. Get the student working together and show them how we will work the entire semester or school year

Next I want to expose them to some great Web 2.0 Tools. One that I am really excited about teaching will be their own personal learning space using Netvibes. I have really enjoyed learning and using my own Netvibes PLE since I learned about it early this summer. I am planning on showing my students how to categorize their own tabs for their other classes as well as my Health Science Technology class. What a wonderful tool not only for teacher's professional development but to show them how to organize their online learning could be great.

After I feel that they have an understanding of what tools are available to them and they are starting to get comfortable with the various applications, then we will begin our study of the various Health Science Technology Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS) which are basically the objectives the Texas Education agency sets forth for all classes in the State of Texas.

I am really hoping that I can pull this off, using technology, computers, Web 2.0 applications, etc., to teach my HSTE classes but I think I can do it. I am very excited at what my students will produce as finished projects. I can envision all sorts different outcomes with collaboration not only with each other, but when my students use our HSTE Ning Site to communicate with Health Care Professionals, initially in Hereford, Texas and then where ever the power of the  internet will lead us. One of the keys to making this a successful project in the end will be encouraging busy Doctors, Nurses, X-Ray Technicians, etc. to agree to share their knowledge and experiences with my students.

I have created The HSTE Project Blog to chronicle our project during this school year.

Now if anyone has any thoughts on this post or the HSTE Project, I would welcome any and all comments, suggestions and advice.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

NECC - Wednesday, July 2, 2008

12:15 Sitting in the Bloggers' Cafe finishing a this blog entry and thinking about lunch, hitting the exhibit floor one last time and wrapping up a wonderful NECC Experience in San Antonio this week. I don't know what the possibilities are of attending NECC 2009 in Washington D.C are, but I am going to try to find a way to atend.

12:00 just finished an amazing session on k 12 Online Conference facilitated by Wes Fryer, Sheryl Nussbaum-Beach, Dean Shareski it is something that I am looking forward to spending time exploring more.

8:30 AM - Sitting in the Blogger's Cafe listening to an informal session on internet ethics and etiquitte.

Participants, David Jakes, Tom Turner, Stephanie Standifer, Kevin Jarrett,Darren Draper, Lori Abrahams, Kevin Honeycutt, Kristen Hokanson, Michelle Baldwin, Sheryl Nussbaum-Beach, John Castilla Jeff Utecht and others

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

NECC Unplugged

Late Entry: Well I spent the remainder of the afternoon in the Exhibit hall with my wife, daughter-in-law and 1 month old grandson. We had a great time, our grandson was the main attraction as everyone from our school enjoyed meeting him, although he didn't participate much in the conversation.

The rest of the evening we went to a couple of receptions and enjoyed some food, merriment and good conversations.

1:00 PM Standing by at the West Lobby in the student showcase area where Rhonda Curtsinger and her Hereford Junior High School students are presenting "State Heroes of Texas". It is really amazing.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008
11:00 AM I got to sit in on a presentation by Stephanie Standifer's about Web 2.0 That Works. It was a fun and informative session. Although the session was "closed" I told the door guard that I was there to take some pictures of the presentation, which really was the truth, and got in.

I didn't expect it but Stephanie asked me to talk about a VoiceThread that I submitted to the Web2.0ThatWorks contest. It was a lot of fun

9:00 AM Watching the Keynote address this morning with Nancy Pratt from Arizona.

7:30 AM Well I am at the Bloggers's Cafe at the NECC Conference this morning having a cup of coffee and waiting to see how the day develops. I am going to attend some sessions today as well as go assist with the student showcase that students from

I also want to go to the Exhibit Hall this morning as I didn't get to spend more than about 30 minutes on the floor yesterdayHereford Junior High School will present from 1:00 - 3:00 here at NECC.

Monday, June 30, 2008

Thoughts about NECC 2008

With Julie Lindsay and Viki Davis
NECC Saturday, June 28, 2008 - Monday, June 30, 2008

WOW! Well we drove down early on Friday so that I would be sure to be here for Edubloggercon. That was an amazing day getting to meet and talk with many of the fantastic edubloggers like Ewan Mcintosh, Viki Davis, Julie Lindsay, Steve Hargadon, Wes Fryer, Scott McLeod, Darren Draper,
Stephanie Standifer and others, I apologize if I forgot to list your blog.

It is hard not to be awestruck when you meet the people in person whom you have learned so much about educational blogging by reading their blogs. Being a relative newcomer to the edubloggosphere, I have relied heavily upon what I have read on their blogs and it is a real treat to be able to sit down and talk to them about what they have done, in some cases, over a very long time in the world of educational blogging. In every instance, I have enjoyed meeting everyone who blogs, listed above, or not and have had very pleasant conversations and have learned a lot.


One of the funnest sessions was the Web 2.0 Smackdown hosted by Viki Davis which was a lot of fun with different people sharing some interesting Web 2.0 applications that they use or find interesting.

Wes Fryer gave a presentation on Digital Storytelling. We is always amazing,especially in person. This is the 3rd time that I have been able to hear Wes present, and it is always very informattive.

8:00AM Volunteer Shift
Worked on a session presented by Michelle Moore from Remote-Learner I have met Michellle several times and always enjoy her presentations on Moodle.

10:30 AM at the Bloggers' Cafe hanging out offering help to people who are interested in Educational Blogging and just planning on listening to some of the sessions in the Bloggers' Cafe.

12:30 listening to a presentation on UBD by Chris Lehmann who is the Principal of the Science Leadership Academy in Philadelphia, PA on understanding backward design in developing lesson plans. Chris has tremendous energy and ideas and would be a principal I would like to work for!

1:00 PM Listened to a presentation by Ken Pruitt about Wikipatterns

3:00 PM Just finished listening to a session on Flat Classrooms at 2:00 PM with Julie Lindsay and Viki Davis it is one of the most anticipated sessions of the conference for me and I wasn't disappointed. Great job ladies.

3:15 PM Listening to a presentation by Dr. Scott Mcleod from Iowa State University and Johnathan Becker from Virginia Commonwealth University on Educational Technology and the Law a facilitated discussion.

3:30 PM listening to Sandy Fivecoat CEO of We Are Teachers

4:30 PM Went to a nice dinner reception at the Menger hotel sponsored by Data Projections

6:30 PM Went to a fun party at the Blue Star Brewery with the NECC Unplugged crowd! This was sponsored by Sandy Fivecoat with We Are Teachers.

9:30 PM Back at the La Quinta downtown thanks to our son Trey who picked us up at the Blue Star Brewery and drove us back.

11:25 PM Putting the finishing touches on this blog entry and getting ready to get some sleep and start all over again tomorrow.

I will be in the Student Showcase area from 1:00 PM - 3:00 PM tomorrow afternoon enjoying Rhonda Curtsinger and her students from Hereford Junior High School showing off their Project. Go Herd!

Thursday, May 1, 2008

HSTE Project


This is a project that I am presently working on for my classes for the 2008 -2009 school year.

This has taken quite a bit of time lately and I have neglected writing any new blog posts. I am still reading many new blog entries that I have seen many amazing ideas and Web 2.0 resources posted by many fantastic educators. But, with only 3 weeks left of this school year. I will probably have to wait until the June 1st before I can add anything new to my blog.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

The Mac Jedi's Mobile Commander

The Mac Jedi's Mobile Commander

This is pretty cool in my opinion.  Lance Ford, Director of Technology at Howe Public Schools has customized his Honda Element with a Mac Mini Computer with a Xenarc touch screen car stereo.

I read about this on Wesley Fryer's Moving at the Speed of Creativity weblog.  Wes has done a great job of describing the Mobile Commander so I would just direct anyone who is interested to his website for more information.

All I have to say is Wow!  I hope that Lance is planning on attending NECC in San Antonio this summer so that I can see this in person.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Web 2.0 = School 2.0

I was reading "The Invasion of Web 2.o" at the Classroom 2.0 Website and came across this slide. The commentary on the website doesn't describe "School 2.0" other than the reference in the slide but I like the sound of "Web 2.0 = School 2.0"  as a catch phrase.

I read Wes Fryer's Moving at the Speed of Creativity post on April 16th about "Here for the Learning Revolution" and that got me thinking.  If Wes can claim Here for the Learning Revolution for his yet unwritten book maybe I can do something with "Web 2.0 = School 2.0"

There is a contest described in Dr. Scott McLeod's Dangerously Irrevelant weblog concerning a button design "I'm Here for the Learning Revolution" to be given away at NECC in San Antonio, Texas.  I'm going by the way and I would like to "claim" at least one button for myself and one for my wife, a computer technology teacher, who is also eagerly looking forward to EduBloggerCon 2008 & Classroom 2.0 "Live", Saturday, June 28th.

So, for anyone out there I would like to claim the phrase "Web 2.0 = School 2.0".  I don't know what I will do with it yet and I would look forward to anyone who would care to comment on this idea.


Animoto Website

Animoto is an application to make videos.  It is also a lot more, you take your digital photos, your music (I used songs from iTunes) upload them to the Animoto website and in a few minutes, about 5 minutes, they turn your pictures and music into a professional looking video with some interesting effects.

You may sign up for a free account where you are limited to 30 second videos.  You may upgrade your account (pay a monthly fee) to make 60 second videos.  You may then link them, upload them to your YouTube, Facebook, Mysapce and other websites.  I had no problem uploading them to my social networking sites.

There is an Education Program for Teachers.  You just have to send an email to Animoto and they will give you a classroom code to allow all of your students to make free videos for a limited time.  You will have to email to get your classroom code.  I set up my account late Saturday night, sent an email and by early Monday morning, Rebecca had already sent me a classroom code for my students to allow them to create their own all-access account.

I came across Animoto by reading Ewan McIntosh's Edu.blogs webpage.  Mr. McIntosh has some very interesting blog entries and I am looking forward to spending some time reading what he has to say.  I would love to hear him speak sometime and living in Edinburgh, Scotland. Wow!  I have never been to Edinburgh but it is one of the places I would love to visit.

If you would like to pay for an all-access account you can enter this Animoto Referral Code: wcmkzvnq and they will give you $5.00 off and I will get a referral.  I know, this is pretty blatant but I had to give it a try. 

I have made a few Animoto Videos.  In about 30 minutes I was able to create 2 using some family pictures and I really enjoyed what came back.  Try it, you might just have a lot of fun with this application.

Here is a fun video I created with some Apple Computer pictures and a Leann Rimes song.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

The Merchants of Cool

The PBS Frontline program from 2001 is about how companies are marketing to teenagers, what is cool and how to sell to the growing market of teenagers who have disposable income

PBS has a number of very good programs that are available to watch online.

This particular program, The Merchants of Cool takes a look at how companies are marketing to kids without seeming to do so.  By making themselves cool, companies are re-thinking their ways of advertising to kids.
Is this right or wrong?  View the program yourself and come to your own conclusion.